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Southwest College

Custom-Bilt Metals

Southwest College, a Los Angeles-area community college in the Westmont neighborhood of the Inglewood district, has chosen Custom-Bilt Metals Cool Roof standing seam metal roofing to significantly reduce its energy costs and contribute to green building energy certification.

Custom-Bilt Metals roofing products cover the college’s new construction of nearly 90,000 square feet of facilities, including a student services and activities center, maintenance and operations center, parking structure, field house, and general use and concessions building.

Spread over two acres of campus properties, the project offers many interesting architectural features, including the metal roofing and custom metal fascia, as well as roofing on numerous shade structures, all of which unify the look of the facility.

The project—which began in January 2008 and was completed in December 2008—used 700 squares (70,000 sq. ft.) of Custom-Bilt Metals’ Titan Standing Seam CB-150 panels, colored “Old Town Gray.” The flat-stock panels were custom-formed onsite by a factory-trained operator. One of the benefits Custom-Bilt Metals offers is the ability to fabricate panels at the job site, as well as factory-produce its product like many of its competitors.

Titan Standing Seam complements the project with a classic look that produces dramatic shadow lines that run continuously from ridge to eave, accenting the pitch and plane of every roof angle.

The metal products for the project were fabricated by Mark Katona and the team at Keystone Roofing Inc. of Oceanside, California. Keystone Roofing, Inc. represents a second generation roofing company with years of experience and the proven ability to tackle some of the most difficult projects in Southern California. Keystone Roofing was called in to participate in this project because of their reputation and company policy.

The project was done to improve the quality of the campus in both capacities of structures as well as aesthetics. Utilizing state of the art fall safety and roofing installation procedures, the project was comprised of PVC flat roofing as well as meal roofing, both of which were installed by Keystone. Custom Steel fabricated shade structures were also an intricate part of this project.

"Many challenges arose during this process, mainly because the butterfly shaped roofs created a water shedding dilemma that needed extreme modification to insure water tightness, between crickets and metal roofing," said Katona. "In the end Keystone delivered a combination of colored PVC material and metal roofing transitions that look pleasing as well as shed water properly."

Cool Roof, Lower Energy Bills

Because buildings with cool roofs use up to 40 percent less energy for cooling than buildings with darker roofs (according to research from the Heat Island Group), Custom-Bilt Metals has partnered with PPG (through a division formerly owned by BASF) to offer their panels with the Kynar 500® Paint System with UltraCool® coatings. Covered with these heat-reflective coatings, the Titan Cool Roof Panel colors also meet the ENERGY STAR® criteria for cool roofs—another element that results in lower energy bills for the building owner. The CB-150 panels chosen for the project are available in 25 colors and offer a 35-year, no-fade warranty.

A Philosophical Fit

Custom-Bilt Metals worked with the architect to satisfy the architectural vision for the roof. According to the firm’s web site, the principals of Sillman Wright Architects place an emphasis on “quality architecture that is directly responsive to our client’s needs.” Self-described “people architects,” Sillman Wright Architects prides itself on its high level of participation with its clients during the initial design phase. The firm also touts its excellent designs that are cost-effective and built within its clients’ budget. The firm strives to maintain a high level of sustainable design, along with low-maintenance materials and equipment.

That philosophy is shared by Custom-Bilt Metals and the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), the largest community college district in the State of California, of which Southwest College of Los Angeles is a part. The LACCD Board of Trustees mandates the use of sustainable building practices for all of its nine campuses. According to the Southwest College Facilities Master Plan: “As directed by the Los Angeles Community College District’s Board of Trustees, all new buildings that are at least half funded with Proposition A and AA Bond monies will be green buildings, built to LEED™ certification standards.”

At Southwest College and in other projects, Custom-Bilt metal roofing products will contribute to points in LEED credits where recycled content, recyclability, energy optimization, and water collection properties are included in a whole-building, weighted-average approach. For example, a cool, prepainted metal roof can qualify for one point in Credit 7.2 of the LEED Sustainable Sites category if it covers at least 75 percent of the roof surface area and meets certain criteria for Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) values. In addition, up to 23 total points for LEED Sites Categories can be achieved with CBM Cool Roofing Products. Each architect or specifier can interpret these points toward LEED Certified Categories.

Future Savings

“Southwest College has made a crucial, long-term decision in choosing to install a Cool Roof,” said Tony Chiovare, president of Custom-Bilt Metals. “Most facility managers see an approximately 20 percent drop in their energy bills after installing a Cool Roof from Custom-Bilt Metals. The U.S. EPA corroborates this figure, which can translate to upwards of tens of thousands of dollars in annual energy savings for schools and institutions.”

About Los Angeles Community College District and Southwest College

As the largest community college district in the State of California, the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) oversees nine colleges in more than 36 cities and communities, covering an area of more than 882 square miles. During the past 77 years the LACCD has educated more than three million students with an open-door philosophy of affordability, accessibility, and practicality. LACCD educates almost three times as many Latino students and nearly four times as many African-American students as all of the University of California campuses combined. Eighty percent of LACCD students are from underserved populations.

Los Angeles Southwest College, located in the Westmont neighborhood of the Inglewood district in Los Angeles, offers two-year Associate degrees in 34 disciplines, as well as occupational certificates in 47 disciplines. LASC offers an array of programs to meet community needs—college transfer, occupational, general education, transitional, continuing, community services and joint programs.

About Custom-Bilt Metals

Custom Bilt Last Time logoCustom-Bilt Metals offers metal roofing systems. For more information, visit

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